Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Breaking News: Linden Lab's Executive Chairman Makes Statement on Ageplay Accusations

This afternoon, there was an announcement from Linden Lab's Executive Chairman, Brad Oberwager, concerning some accusations that some Lindens and Moles were engaged in ageplay (virtual roleplay of child sex abuse). He stated that the charges are being taken very seriously, and while nothing's been found yet, the investigation is continuing to make double sure.

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to the Second Life community. Thank you for being part of this wonderful world and giving us the time to carefully assess our situation after we became the subject of a blog post that has the potential to cause harm to our dedicated community members and the virtual world platform that so many people call “home.” 

The post contains a complex mix of accusations regarding Second Life, and it questions our strong dedication to maintaining a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all members of the Second Life community.

Our Response to the Allegations

At the heart of the blog post were unsettling accusations about sexualized, virtual avatar ageplay, including alleged violations of our community guidelines. I want to be clear: we have a zero-tolerance policy against sexualized ageplay. The safety and integrity of the Second Life platform are paramount to us, especially concerning the protection of minors. 

We will continue to enforce our existing governance policies and community standards and we are proud of our collaboration with law enforcement and organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to combat child exploitation. These efforts underscore our commitment to a safe online environment. 

With that said, I want to acknowledge that we can do better; this has been a harsh wake-up call for us that we need to take tangible actions to improve Second Life’s governance policies and protective features that benefit the entire community.

Our Actions Moving Forward

I promise you that we are taking this very seriously. Very. Full stop. 

I promise we hear you. We know you're angry and you're confused. We are working to do our best to resolve your concerns and restore your trust in us. These are complicated issues and we want to do things right. We will make mistakes along the way. I wish I could say we will not, but we will. 

As owner of Linden Lab, I have initiated a thorough investigation, both internally and with external partners, to review whether or not there have been any violations of our company and community policies by employees, contractors, or community members. While early preliminary internal investigations suggest that some of the accusations are unfounded, I want to make sure that we get additional investigative support externally to ensure that the process is fair and thorough.

One of our top priorities has been to ensure the safety of our residents, moles, employees, and families. There are real people behind the avatars, and it has been important to confirm that nobody was in actual physical danger. 

Additionally, I am taking proactive steps to review and revamp many of our policies, including a comprehensive review of our Community Standards, Content Guidelines, and Ageplay Policy. Any violation detected will be met with swift enforcement actions to protect our community. We’ll be sharing these revised policies in the coming weeks and, critically, we are turning to the community to help us shape the future of how governance operates within Second Life. 

Our Commitment to You

Second Life remains a vibrant platform for expression, creativity, and connection. I and the Second Life team are deeply committed to protecting our community and ensuring that Second Life continues to be a safe, inclusive, and welcoming space for everyone. Your trust is our priority, and we pledge to work tirelessly to maintain and enhance the integrity of our virtual world.

I appreciate the patience and support of our community as we navigate this challenge. Together, we will emerge stronger and more united in our mission to build the best possible virtual world experience.
The accusations were made from an anonymous account on a blog in late February.  The Newser reported on March that the Lab was starting to investigate them

Hat Tip: Daniel Voyager
Bixyl Shuftan

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